Here I was sitting on Main Street in a normal gray summer day in the Land of Lost Board Members. What a day to just sit and do the crossword puzzles in the Lost Timely Donations News. Hmm, a four letter word for ‘Singin’ in the———.’ ‘Rain!’ An eight letter word for ‘Pouring cats and dogs.’ ‘Storming.’ A three letter word for…
“It’s a puzzle, my boy” said Mr. Joshua Biggly Huge, local anti-big government philanthropist. I peeked around the thirsty landscapery on Main Street and saw my friend, Cash Now, local CPA and nonprofit financial management guru, in deep conversation with his richest for profit client. They were probably having a client privileged conversation so I returned to my puzzle, a three letter word for ‘Not dry,’ ‘Wet!’ I was filling in those little boxes.
“But, sir,” I could hear Cash pleading, “times are tough for local charities. I think you might consider some interim commitment to UWLOL as a way to help folks through some tough times.”
Ignore them, I told myself, this is a private conversation. I had more relaxing things to do. “I find that whole thing so annoying,” said Mr. Biggly Huge, “LOL, what is that, some kind of palindrome?”
“Sir, that means Land of Lost.” Cash continued his argument. “As I was saying, we might look at restructuring your annual donations,” here Cash’s voice became enticing, “You know, for tax purposes, and help out now when the money is needed.”
Hmm, a seven letter word for ‘Cure-all.’
“My checkbook isn’t a panacea for this communities’ ills,” growled Joshua.
Thank you, Joshua, I thought, ‘Panacea.’ Thirty six across, a nine letter word for ‘Draw off in a vapor?’
“Right now I’m as strapped as everyone else. My investments are not performing. My real estate is not moving. I’m having to wait longer for rents and loan payments.” Joshua sounded troubled. “My boy, I know what problems are out there. I sit on a couple of Boards. Agencies are seeing donations ebb, demand increase and even reliable government support for certain activities withdraw or evaporate.”
That’s it, ‘Evaporate.’ This was a puzzle I could work in ink.
Their voices were quiet for a few minutes, then Cash interrupted my thoughts, “Maybe we need to share these problems with the entire community? Your friends and my friends might be able to help with a solution”
“What do you have in mind?” asked Joshua.
“I’m not sure,” said Cash. “We could challenge our friends to give what they can, or maybe attend a fund raising function for some agency. Or we could just encourage them to keep the pledges they made, even if it means stretching payments out an extra year or smaller amounts over shorter intervals.” Cash was frustrated. “I know what my clients are going through, both those that are for profit and those nonprofit. It’s a tough year.”
I was trying to think of a seven letter word for ‘Panting or puffing.’
“I know what you mean,” said Al Tristini, a community benefactor. It was said that Al never met a nonprofit he didn’t like. “My checkbook is gasping.” Cash and Joshua welcomed him to their sidewalk table.
It just came to me, ‘Gasping.’ This puzzle was doing itself.
Behind the thirsty shrubs the angst continued. Al was relating his concerns for some of his favorite agencies. “There are so many demands for service, medications, school supplies, food pantry items.” He stopped to survey his audience. “Men, we need to draw attention to the need. This is not the time for subtle feel good campaigns. This is time for the gloves to come off.”
A six letter word meaning understated, with that “t” in ‘Evaporate’ as the fourth letter. Wait what did Al just say? ‘Subtle.’ Whoa, could I get any better than this? Fifty-two down, ‘Balance,’ eleven letters with the first ‘e’ in ‘Evaporate’.’
The men kept talking. Their voices carried concern. “I think we know what to do,” said Joshua. “We have to alert our friends and associates in the community. We all have a responsibility to keep a community equilibrium.
‘Equilibrium,’ does that have eleven letters? I was getting to my last clue, ‘Give away to; bestow; contribute to; aid.’ It’s a six letter word that fits the ‘o’ in ‘storming’ and the ‘a’ in ‘gasping.’. Do you get it?
August 2008 Puzzling Over Life